Lets get Emily to the Paralympics

by jim.connellywebster in Saint Gennys

We did it
On 10th November 2014 we successfully raised £10,117 with 122 supporters in 56 days

To help Emily Skerrett to reach international level dressage and support her on every step of the way towards her dream of the Paralympics

by jim.connellywebster in Saint Gennys

New stretch target

Team Emily, Based in Crackington Haven, Cornwall, is seeking your support:

Emily Skerrett is a local girl with 2 small boys and a dream to compete at international and Paralympic level in dressage. She suffers from EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) a debilitating and painful condition that means she can’t cover any distance unaided, can dislocate joints easily just by picking up her toddler for a cuddle and is in constant pain. Emily also suffers from a condition known as POTS that causes her to feel dizzy and tired a lot of the time and affects her blood pressure. Emily has recently undergone a total wrist fusion to stabilise her left arm, and walks with crutches or uses a wheelchair due to damage to her right leg.

Despite her disability Emily's talent for dressage has become clear since she started to train at Lakefield in Camelford with the Mark Cunliffe and the North Cornwall RDA. Her potential has been acknowledged by Clive Milkins an international para dressage coach, who has given her his support to Emily along with Pammy Hutton, trainer and international dressage competitor. It is clear that she has the desire and drive to compete at international level and with the right support she will achieve her goal of competing at a Paralympic games.

The courage and spirit that Emily shows has really inspired the local community to get behind her as she strives to show that being disabled should not be a barrier to achieving your goals and making your children proud. To get to the dressage events that will enable her to qualify for international level she needs financial support and that is what we are for and why we are asking for your help. Organising transport for her horse Woody and competing in qualifiers can cost as much as £500 per competition, so without support it is difficult for Emily to be able to enter enough competitions to be in with a chance of squad selection. Emily is incredibly motivated to succeed in her sport, and to represent Cornwall, and Great Britain and to increase awareness of her debilitating condition.

Her official campaign is launching on the 15th September at Lakefield, Camelford where we will also be holding an event to raise funds and awareness. Emily will be performing a dressage demonstration on her horse Woody.

"Emily and her horse have the X Factor...They have the talent, the ability and potential to go the very top" - Clive Milkins Fellow of RDA, paralympic coach

"Emily has been gaining very good scores, bringing herself to the forefront" - Mark Cunliffe, instructor Lakefield Equestrian Centre



What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

EDS is a genetic connective tissue condition that is a multi-systemic syndrome. Connective tissue covers over 95% of your body so there is little that escapes the symptoms.

Signs and symptoms vary from individual to individual and based on which type of EDS the patient has. In each case, however, the signs are ultimately due to faulty or reduced amounts of collagen. EDS typically affects the joints, skin, and blood vessels. Following is a list of major signs and symptoms.

Musculoskeletal: Hyper-mobile joints, unstable joints that are prone to sprain, dislocation, subluxation and hyperextension. Early onset of advanced osteoarthritis or chronic degenerative joint disease, Swan neck deformity of the fingers, Boutonniere deformity of the fingers, Tearing of tendons or muscles, Deformities of the spine, such as: scoliosis (curvature of the spine), kyphosis (a thoracic hump), tethered spinal cord syndrome, occipitoatlantoaxial hypermobility, Myalgia (muscle pain) and arthralgia (joint pain), which may be severe, Trendelenburg's sign, Osgood-Schlatter Disease

Skin: Fragile skin that tears easily, easy bruising, stretchy skin, unusual scarring, thin soft skin with a transluscent appearance.

Cardiovascular: Arterial rupture, mitral valvee prolapse, Dilation and/or rupture of ascending aorta, Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, Raynaud's Phenomenon

Other complications: Hiatial hernia, Nerve compression disorders (carpal tunnel syndrome, acroparesthesia, neuropathy), Insensitivity to local anesthetics, Arnold–Chiari malformation (brain disorder), Platelet aggregation failure (platelets do not clump together properly), Pregnancy complications, Sleep Apnea, gastroparesis

Sources: EDS Support Uk, Wikipedia

Who can compete in dressage at the Paralympics?

Five riders will compete for Great Britain at the Games; three or four riders make up the Team (four riders will compete for GB), with the final rider(s) riding as an Individual. Men and women compete against each other equally within their specific grades, with riders competing on their own horses as opposed to horses provided by the organisers.

 At the Paralympic Games, all athletes compete in three Dressage tests: a Team Test, an Individual Championship Test and a Freestyle Test (where athletes choose their own routine and set it to their own choice of music).

 The results of the Team and Individual Championship Tests are added together to arrive at the overall Team score, with the best three scores (from a team of four) counting. Individual medals are also awarded on the merit of both the Individual Championship Test and the Freestyle Test. All riders, whether competing in a Team or not, may ride in the Team Test.

Athletes are classified according to their functional ability when mounted across five grades (Ia, Ib, II, III and IV). The grading determines the complexity of the movements riders perform with their horses during their tests, ensuring that the tests are judged on the skill of the rider, regardless of their impairment. Riders may use permitted assistive devices such as dressage whips, connecting rein bars looped reins, and the like. Riders who have visual impairments are permitted to use ‘callers’ to help them navigate around the arena.

Source: British Paralympic Association


Emily on Westcountry from ITV Westcountry on Vimeo.



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£0 or more

£0 Reward

£2 or more

£2 Reward

You will receive a thank you email for your donation

£5 or more

£5 Reward

As a thank you your name will appear on our website

£10 or more

£10 Reward

As a thankyou your name will appear on our website and you will receive a signed picture with thanks from Team Emily

£20 or more

£20 Reward

An evening of equestrian performance in North Cornwall. To include Showjumping from talented local rider Sophie Stockdale and dressage to music performed by Emily Skerrett. Drinks & nibbles provided

£25 or more

£25 Reward

Team Emily Rosette As a thankyou we will send you one of our team rosettes to remind you of your kind support

£50 or more

18 of 30 claimed

£50 Reward

The smart Team Emily polo shirt is of beautiful construction and is a great way to show your support as Emily competes next year

£60 or more

1 of 30 claimed

£60 Reward

A signed framed photo of Emily & Woody

£120 or more

4 of 5 claimed

£120 Reward

Justin from The Bank at Bude has kindly offered to help us with a meal for 2 with wine at The Bank. This superb Tapas Bistro will look after you with a 3 course meal.

£150 or more

3 of 30 claimed

£150 Reward

Our new Horse Blanket will feature the names/logos of all the businesses and persons who sponsor us with £150. We expect to have lots of publicity shots in the coming months and this could be ideal for your company.

£250 or more

£250 Reward

A large canvas photographic print of Emily and Woody to thank our kind sponsors

£500 or more

£500 Reward

A luxury weekend at Crackington Haven with Team Emily. Come to Cornwall and be really pampered as a couple. Includes luxury accommodation in a quiet retreat in a serene valley minutes from the beach and a delicious dinner with wine

£500 or more

£500 Reward

A full week at a 5star gold self catering cottage. Strawberry Water is close to the beach at Welcombe Mouth.This fantastic prize has a value of £900 and can be taken anytime before April 3rd 2015 http://barbarycoast.co.uk/properties/strawberry-water/ [email protected] for more details

£120 or more

10 of 10 claimed

£120 Reward

Oliver at North Coast Wines has arranged a superb collection of 12 wonderful wines in a gift case for Team Emily. With an RRP of £160 this is a great saving for you and helps us fundraise.

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